Hitachi opens second plant in Gujarat, to invest more

August 28th, 2009 - 3:35 pm ICT by IANS  

Narendra Modi By John Stanly
Kadi (Gujarat), Aug 28 (IANS) Hitachi Home and Life Solutions, the Indian unit of Japan’s Hitachi Appliance Inc, Friday flagged off a new plant near Ahmedabad to manufacture air-conditioners and chillers and promised to invest more in the unit to expand operations.

The Rs.50 crore plant, adjacent to the company’s existing facility in Kadi, some 40 km from the state capital, was inaugurated by Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

Hitachi managing director Shinichi Izuka said the new unit would initially manufacture commercial air-conditioners.

“But we will expand the manufacturing facility in two years by investing another Rs.50 crore and also produce chillers,” Izuka told reporters.

Hitachi signed the agreement with the Gujarat government Jan 13 during the Vibrant Gujarat global investors’ meet to set up the second Kadi plant, said Hitachi Home and Life’s business planning head Gurmeet Singh, adding: “We were one of the first investors at this year’s Vibrant Gujarat meet.”

Earlier, after inaugurating the plant, chief minister Modi said: “The fact that Japanese investors, who take a decision after detailed planning and conducting thorough studies, are finding Gujarat a place to set up industries, is a recognition of the state and its people.”

The new facility, sprawled over 85,000 square metres and set up under eight months, will create 200 new jobs, taking the total strength of Hitachi’s Kadi unit to 740.

Asked why Hitachi Home and Life was expanding its business during the slowdown, Singh said the domestic AC market was still growing.

“We sold over 120,000 air-conditioners in the first six months this year as compared to 97,000 in the same period last year,” claimed Singh.

With the new plant, the company is planning to increase its production capacity to 400,000 units per annum. It is also aiming at a 10 percent increase in turnover.

Last year, Hitachi Home and Life posted a turnover of Rs.520 crore.

Apart from Kadi, the company has another production facility in Jammu. At present, the total installed capacity is 250,000 units.

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